Poll – Missoulians List Affordable Housing, High Taxes as City’s ‘Most Pressing Problems’
Missoula City Council members will get a chance to look at new polling paid for by the City of Missoula this week and the questions may indicate an increase in taxes in the near future. The poll conducted by researchers at the University of Montana consisted of 14 questions that were asked of over 600 registered Missoula voters.
Highlights of the poll show that nearly 80 percent of respondents listed their quality of life as either excellent or good, but there was great concern over housing and taxes.
When asked to list the city’s most pressing problem, nearly a full fourth of respondent’s listed affordable housing. Taxes took the second highest spot, with more than 11 percent saying taxes were too high.
Ironically, many of the questions in the poll appear to be the city’s attempts to find out how to raise taxes even more. One question: “How supportive would you be of increasing fees or taxes” was applied to ten different public services, everything from police and fire to “walking and biking amenities.”
Another tax related question was more specific, asking how respondents would feel about a “Three percent tax on tourist-oriented activities.”
After reading the poll, City Councilman Jesse Ramos says he has a pretty good feeling of what taxpayers can expect.
"I would say that the likelihood of your taxes being higher this year than they were last year is 100 percent. There's no doubt in my mind that your tax bill at the city level, your city taxes will increase this year... 100 percent."
According to Ramos, the city spent over $20,000 to conduct the poll.